Eagle Defense on Display in 2nd Scrimmage - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eagle Defense on Display in 2nd Scrimmage

The EWU defense held the Eagle offense to just two field goals on Saturday. The EWU defense held the Eagle offense to just two field goals on Saturday.

If it’s windy, smoky and dusty in Eugene, Ore., the Eagles will be ready.

The defense held the offense to a pair of field goals, but junior running back Jalen Moore rushed for 61 yards to highlight Eastern Washington University’s 41-play scrimmage Saturday (Aug. 29) at smoky, windy and dusty Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.

“The conditions were definitely less than ideal,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin, who cut the scrimmage short and previously has had to move two practices because of smoky conditions. “Sometimes there are things that are out of your control. We moved a couple of practices and we’ll always put safety first. We just deal with it.”

The scrimmage ended the preseason for the Eagles, who play at Oregon next Saturday (Sept. 5) at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. Eastern will resume practices on Monday in preparation for the seventh-ranked Ducks, whose starting quarterback is expected to be former two-time Eagle All-American Vernon Adams Jr.

As expected, Baldwin rested most of his team’s starters – including quarterback Jordan West. The scrimmage served mostly to solidify the team’s depth and 70-player roster to Eugene, as well as give the Eagles a better idea of players they will utilize on special teams.

Plus, the scrimmage allowed the Eagles to get more accustomed to the hurry-up offense they’ll face – most notably the Ducks, but also many of EWU’s other upcoming opponents in the 2015 season.

“There was an element of building depth and there were some final decisions in deciding our 70-man roster,” Baldwin said. “And we also used it for needed reps – Jalen Moore needed some carries. It was a combination of needed reps by veterans and other players we are evaluating.”

But with winds and dust picking up as the scrimmage went along – helping clear out the smoky air caused by area wildfires -- the defense held the offense to 203 yards. Moore, listed as a co-starter with Jabari Wilson on Eastern’s depth chart, carried eight times with a long of 18.

Eastern rushed for a total of 115 yards, a week after finishing with a net of just 32 yards on 33 carries in EWU’s first scrimmage of preseason practices. Gage Gubrud led the offense to a pair of scoring drives – eight plays for 32 yards that ended with a 43-yard field goal by Tyler McNannay and 10 plays for 66 yards ended with a 26-yard field goal by Brandyn Bangsund.

Gubrud finished 6-of-11 through the air for 58 yards, and freshman redshirt Jayson Williams had three catches for 28 yards. A trio of players had four tackles each, including freshman redshirt linebacker Alek Kacmarcik, who may start versus the Ducks in his debut as an Eagle.

Cheney’s own Keenan Williams had a sack, as did cornerback Asan Neil-Evergin. Sophomore John Kreifels intercepted a pass.

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